What’s up weirdos? Welcome back to Awfully Good, where we celebrate movies that maybe go a little bit uncelebrated. Tonight’s film is Blood Freak, a truly bizarre anti-drug PSA. It’s been a while, so let me give you a quick refresher on the rules of this column. Rule 1. No dumping allowed. This isn’t a place for me to just tear a movie to shreds. When I call a movie “trashy” or “terrible”, that’s coming from a place of appreciation. The internet doesn’t need more negativity, and freakin’ Santa’s watching. Rule 2. Double-knot your shoes before you get on the court, so that we don’t have to stop the game while everybody stares at you tying your shoes. With those basic but iron-clad rules out of the way, let’s get onto the show!
It’s November, which is Thanksgiving month in the United States. This is unfortunate for a few reasons. First of all, Thanksgiving sucks. Just a garbage holiday. Second, there are barely any Thanksgiving movies. There’s Thankskilling, which is pretty fun, but I wrote about that one before this column existed. Third, and I hate to sound like a broken record here, but Thanksgiving sucks. The famous thing about Thanksgiving, though, is a turkey. So tonight’s film is all about a turkey monster!
“[…] a timeless tale of getting hooked on sticky green grass and dying, getting dumped in the forest, then waking up with both a turkey’s head and a thirst for blood.”
Blood Freak is a movie crazy enough to come out of Florida. Written and directed by Brad F. Grinter, and bearing the untoppable tagline “A DRACULA ON DRUGS!” this cautionary tale follows a Vietnam vet who falls in with the wrong crowd. It’s kind of like Beyond the Valley of the Dolls and Frankenstein and Reefer Madness, but without all the things that made Beyond the Valley of the Dolls so good. Check out this trailer, and I’ll meet you afterwards!
Blood Freak opens with auteur Brad Grinter introducing the movie. It’s very clear he’s reading from a script, and it’s also very clear that this is just rambling nonsense. In fact, it reminded me of Criswell’s introduction of rad trash classic Plan 9 From Outer Space. After a lot of words but little meaning, we get into the story. Our protagonist, Herschell, is taking his motorcycle for a ride when he meets Angel, the subtly-named evangelical heroine. She’s having some car trouble, but Herschell helps her out. She brings him back to her place, and she tells Hersch to watch out for her sister- she runs with a pretty wild crowd. To get this message across, she stumbles through a Bible lesson.
Herschell meets Angel‘s aforementioned sister Anne, and after a little bit of effort she gets him to try one of these wacky marihuana cigarettes. Well pal, one’s all it takes. Herschell is full-on addicted to the devil’s lettuce, a substance that is not known to have physically addictive properties. He finds work at a turkey farm, where he becomes a test subject for some turkey scientists. His job is to eat turkey meat that’s been treated with different chemicals. To sweeten the pot for him, the scientists offer him some more of that jazz cabbage.
The scientists bring him an entire turkey and they’re like, “Hey, eat this and let us know if you die.” So Herschell eats the entire thing. The whole turkey. He passes out, which is the correct medical response to eating an entire turkey*, but then he has a seizure (not normally part of eating an entire turkey). One turkey scientist finds him, checks his vitals, and decides he’s dead. This is tricky, because he is clearly still breathing, but I guess you have to suspend your disbelief of what a corpse looks like sometimes.
Anyway, they dump him in the forest. Happy trails, Herschell.
“Watching [the monster] pour blood into his beak is the real meaning of Thanksgiving, and it’s easily the most enjoyable part of this mess.”
The scientists don’t want any trouble with the police, so they decide to leave the farm. Meanwhile, our boy wakes up in the forest with a giant turkey’s head. He makes his way back to Anne, the vile temptress, and explains what’s going on by writing everything out on sheets of paper. He still needs drugs, because he’s addicted to that Tijuana locoweed, but what he wants the most is the blood of drug users. Finally, we understand the title of the film… and very little else. This brings us into the third act of the movie, which is the part I want to spoil the least, so I’ll just hit a couple of high points. Watching him pour blood into his beak is the real meaning of Thanksgiving, and it’s easily the most enjoyable part of this mess. Also, sometimes he lets out a single, sad gobble. Finally, the twist ending is so weak that you can turn off the movie before it gets to it and you’ll enjoy it way more.
So that’s Blood Freak! What it all boils down to is it’s a timeless tale of getting hooked on sticky green grass and dying, getting dumped in the forest, then waking up with both a turkey’s head and a thirst for blood. A modern Cinderella, if you will.
“[…] a truly bizarre anti-drug PSA”
What are you doing to get away from your family on Thanksgiving? If you can’t think of anything else, tell them you’re watching Blood Freak and that if they disturb you they’re throwing off a Thanksgiving tradition. It could work! Let us know if you have any other helpful tips and tricks for surviving this over on Twitter, Instagram, Reddit, and the Horror Fiends of Nightmare on Film Street Facebook page! For more horror news, reviews, and good reasons to stay home, stay tuned to Nightmare on Film Street.
*Fun fact! The scientific reason for why turkey makes you sleepy is an amino acid called Tryptophan! According to like a million articles that start with the word “Ackshually,” that’s not entirely accurate. But whatever, I’m not a scientist! I would never feed someone an entire turkey laced with drugs or whatever and then dump their somewhat-dead body in the forest! If I were a scientist, I would only work to bring the already-dead back to life. This is the Mac Jones Promise.